Scottish Roundup

Lloyds and HBOS to merge

James of Two Doctors looks at the past of Lloyds TSB and HBOS. Lazychicken thinks there’ll be redundancies, regardless of whether the unions “accept” them. Anseo notes there’s been some domain squatting. Jeff thinks Gordon Brown’s slowness to act has doomed HBOS.

Adopted Domain says “Farewell HBOS”.

Political Dissuasion smells a scandal:

This is a scandal. There has been no mention, no suggestion of a conflict of interest, and as more and more details are revealed, it’s just getting more and more a political deal, rather than financial one. Take the whole “the Prime Minister was involved in pushing through the deal” nonsense. That just sounds like a spun line that the media just took up, nodded their heads and ran with.

Ideas of Civilisation ponders if this will make Scottish independence harder to argue for. Jeff agrees.

Neil Craig thinks there should be an inquiry into short selling. David Farrer is worried. HW thinks the consequences will be severe.

The financial crisis…

…continues. Ben Lomond asks “The death of capitalism?”

Niall thinks banks should become mutuals.

Glenrothes by-election

Over at LabourHome, ACLB thinks Tony Blair should be the Labour candidate, and if he wins, take over from Gordon Brown as Prime Minister. View from North Britain says this shows Labour are self-destructing. I’m not aware what Brown thinks, but his comments are probably unprintable.

David Cairns resignation

David Cairns resigns as Minister of State at the Scotland Office; Richard Thompson has his resignation letter in full. Ewan Spence wonders if Caroline Flint will be next to resign. Bellegrove Belle is disappointed, while Anseo thinks Eric Joyce will be the next Labour rebel. And Malc says that Labour should stop attacking others instead of “getting their own house in order”.

Sectarianism — Scotland’s shame?

Tom Harris says sectarianism is Scotland’s shame:

sectarianism makes you feel embarrassed to be Scottish. I hate it when the subject is even raised when I’m with English friends because I imagine they must look at us as a backward nation.

Alex Massie — correctly in my view — points out that sectarianism is more of a Glasgow problem than a Scottish problem. It’s bigots who should be ashamed, not decent Scots.

Creationism in schools

Tom Harris thinks that Professor Michael Reiss’s words about dealing with creationist students in school science lessons have been misunderstood. Shuggy agrees, and adds that teachers need to deal with it on a case-by-case basis: “I’m also disinclined to discuss things like this at all if I think the individual in question is simply wasting my time and/or is so fanatical in their beliefs as to be impervious to rational argument and evidence. It’s not that uncommon. The question is, how to deal with it? Sometimes you talk about it, sometimes it’s appropriate to close conversations down.”

Iain Gray

Iain Gray’s been elected the leader of the Labour group in the Scottish Parliament. Cyber Nat makes the point that Gray referred to “Great Britain” instead of “United Kingdom of Great Britain AND Northern Ireland – United Kingdom or UK for short”. Cyber Nat, you’re a pedant.

Mr H has a run-down of Gray’s shadow cabinet.

Political Dissuassion isn’t impressed by an article Gray wrote in the Independent.

Kezia Dugdale accuses the SNP of being innumerate:

Was intrigued to see the Sunday Papers carry lines from the SNP calling Iain Gray, “Mr Three Percent,” because according to last week’s Sunday Times poll only 3% of Scots think Iain would make the best First Minister…

So I got my SNP calculator out – you know the one that helps you inflate oil revenues and makes the local income tax balance

Councillor threatens blogger with libel action

Jahangir Hanif in an SNP Councillor. He’s also going through an acrimonious divorce. His daughter Noor apparently doesn’t like him very much, because she wrote a letter to SNP leader Alex Salmond making very serious allegations about her father and saying he should be kicked out of the SNP. Noor also made the letter public. Blogger Kezia Dugdale published the letter, but later took down the blog post after Hanif threatened her with a libel action.

Incidently, the legal threats didn’t work, because the letter is still on the net, just a Google search away. I didn’t know whether the accusations in the letter are true, but if they are not, why else would a 17 year old girl make such serious public accusations against her father?

Miserable Old Fart noted:

But an SNP councillor suing a Labour blogger for mentioning something that was already in the public domain is going to do more harm to the councillor and his party than ignoring it would have done. I hope that Alex Salmond has the sense to publicly distance the party from the individual actions of the councillor, otherwise the SNP will be open to attack for using the law to silence its critics.

Miserable Old Fart also challenged bloggers to publicise this, which Tim Ireland later did.

Tavish Scott’s tax cut proposal

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Tavish Scott wants to cut income tax by 2p in the pound.

Adam Smith Was A Socialist wonders if this is really an “emergency”.

Niel Craig is keen, but cannot fully endorse Scott’s proposal, because:

1) He has made no specific proposal as to how it should be paid for. We said that a 3p cut should be paid for out of the £1 billion a year of pointless windmill subsidies.

2) 2p is a very silly figure to choose. There is a fixed cost in changing the rate which is about equivalent to 1p income tax. Therefore it makes financial sense to go for a 3p cut or nothing. 2p is falling between 2 stools.

3) We have been quite clear that the first priority is encouraging growth & that the way to do that is, as the Irish did, by cuts in corporation tax & rates which should be the priority. Desirable though income tax cuts are it is obvious that a one time only 2p in the £1 cut will provide only a fraction as much to ordinary people as Ireland’s 7% growth (let alone the 9% we are committed to), year on year.

Caron’s in favour:

A tax cut would help to bring children of working families out of poverty – for the first time, more children in poverty come from families where someone is in work. It would give hard pressed Scots, struggling to pay all their bills, a bit more of a cushion.

Fatties

NHS nurses are patrolling the streets, looking for fatties. Mr Eugenides is outraged:

I live in a country where government employees are coming up to me in the street and telling me that I look overweight? I mean, what?

I am genuinely outraged at this because it embodies a lot of what is wrong with the relationship between state and citizen in our modern democracy; in this case, an assumption on the part of the state that my weight is any of their fucking business.

Where does this assumption stem from? By what authority do they harass me on the street and tell me to eat a fucking salad? Because be in no doubt, harassment is what we’re talking about here. It may not be in-your-face, finger-jabbing bullying; no, it’s more insidious than that. You! Yes, you, citizen! Look at the size of that gut! Aren’t you ashamed of yourself?

Caron is also against, but for different reasons:

As, to put it mildly, a bit of a porker, I would be exactly the sort targetted by these women. They might well choose to refer me to weight watchers – but I expect I know more about every single slimming club/diet in the history of time than they do. Most overweight people know exactly what they have to do in order to lose weight – it’s not rocket science. Eat less and exercise more. There, I have just saved NHS Ayrhire and Arran a fortune.

The serious side of this is that many people with weight problems struggle with self esteem too and this sort of public dressing down would cause them no end of distress. I wonder, too, whether this violates nurses’ professional conduct in some way. Effectively what they are doing is bullying often vulnerable people.

Other stuff

Flying rodent has an international politics round-up.

Calum Cashley thinks the Lib Dems are being hypocritical by planning to make junk phone calls.

Bill Cameron notes the BBC’s new Gaelic language TV channel, as does Alwin Ap Huw.

Mark McDonald writes in favour of euthanasia for dementia sufferers.

Bernard Salmon thinks liberals aren’t treated fairly by the media, and gives some ideas on how that could be improved.

Fred Barboo thinks it’s OK to be proud of your country.

Mr Farty writes about the woman who claimed benefits for 14 non-existant kids:

“Er, hello, is that the Social? Aye, it’s Mrs Semple. Again. It’s aboot oor wee, er, haud on…Tariq. The poor wee thing’s got, let’s see, Gulf War Syndrome. How much can we get for that? Pardon? Aye, he’s three. Well, Ah suppose he must of caught it from his dad. Along with the mesothelioma, cirrhosis and Madonna’s Disease. Making it up, what makes you think I’m making it up? The Internet wouldn’t lie to me…would it?”

David Simpson wants us to plug his blog, Democracy Scotland.

SNP Watch bills itself as “exposing the tyranny of the minority”.

Signing off

And that’s it for this week. If there are any spelling mistakes or errors, you can blame tiredness caused by my cat, who decided to wake me up at ridiculous o’clock in the morning by attacking my toes, the little shit.

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